04 April, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

It's getting pretty ugly out there:
How far around the bend are conservatives enraged by Obama's presidency? They're so far gone, David Horowitz is urging them to calm down and stop using over-the-top rhetoric.

I have been watching an interesting phenomenon on the right, which is beginning to cause me concern. I am referring to the over-the-top hysteria in response to the first months in office of our new president, which distinctly reminds me of the "Bush is Hitler" crowd on the left. [...]

Conservatives, please. Let's not duplicate the manias of the left as we figure out how to deal with Mr. Obama. He is not exactly the antichrist, although a disturbing number of people on the right are convinced he is. [...]

As we move forward, Obama faces increasingly tough choices in the wars against Islamic fascism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza and Iran. Hopefully, he will make the right choices, and should he do so conservatives will need to be there to support him. If he makes the wrong choices, conservatives will need to be there to oppose him. But neither our support nor our opposition should be based on hysterical responses to policies that we just don't like.

When David Horowitz is the voice of reason, telling the right to tone down the apocalyptic nonsense, you know conservative leaders have gone a little too far.

You know something? I don't remember liberals going stark raving insane over Bush after he'd been in office for just two months. Fuck, Obama hadn't even taken office before the right-wing paranoia machine started buzzing away in top gear. And this is the fruit of their folly:

We're gathering more information about Richard Polawski, the 23-year-old man who decided to kill four Pittsburgh police officers and wound five others because it appears he was afraid they -- at the behest of the Obama administration -- were going to take his guns away. (Dude, they definitely are now.)

Seems he was laying in wait in a carefully planned ambush:

Richard Poplawski, 23, met officers at the doorway and shot two of them in the head immediately, Harper said. An officer who tried to help the two also was killed.

Poplawski, armed with an assault rifle and two other guns, then held police at bay for four hours as the fallen officers were left bleeding nearby, their colleagues unable to reach them, according to police and witnesses. More than 100 rounds were fired by the SWAT teams and Poplawski, Harper said.

And he was paranoid about the Obama administration taking people's guns away -- even though, of course, there have been no indications of any such plans beyond NRA rantings:

Poplawski feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon," said Edward Perkovic, his best friend.

So he goes on a rampage and kills several cops because people like Limbaugh and Beck have him wound so tight he snapped.

If only he were the only one, an outlier, an oddity. He is, alas, not:

Yesterday, I asked what the hell was going on with all these killing rampages. Eric Boehlert pointed out that the press had completely fallen down on the job by failing to note that there had been 30 people killed in gun rampages in just the last six days (three more today) by treating each incident as if it were a a one day story. (That seems to be changing a little bit with yesterday and today's killings.)

This shit has to stop. People like Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity need to either tone it down or get thrown off the air. Free speech is one thing. Incitement to homicide is another. The sad thing is, I suspect that they look upon these killings as something entirely expected. They have no appreciation of the responsibility they bear.

And before any fuckwits start up with "But the left was angry, too!" remember one thing: you didn't see multiple left-wing liberals engaged in mass murder. You didn't see people like Kos and Jane Hamsher calling for Americans to take up their weapons and revolt. You didn't hear Democratic Senators and Congresspeople calling themselves an insurgency and talking about how they're behind enemy lines.

The right is completely out of control. If they don't want people coming to take their guns away, they'd best stop using those guns as a means to express their political displeasure. And their leaders need to figure out that in a democracy, eliminationist rhetoric is beyond the pale.


Mike at The Big Stick said...

You know something? I don't remember liberals going stark raving insane over Bush after he'd been in office for just two months.


I thought April Fool's Day was on April 1st?

george.w said...

I sure as hell don't remember liberals with massive broadcast syndication going stark raving insane over Bush after he'd been in office for just two months.

I do recall everyone, conservatives (of course) and liberals being supportive of Bush after 9/11. Support that he squandered like a drunken frat boy.

And I don't remember any prominent liberals talking violence in response to Bush, ever. Maybe I missed the odd example. If you want examples of conservatives talking violence, just turn on the radio or TV.

The First Amendment: you're doing it wrong.

Mike at The Big Stick said...


Isn't 'liberals with massive broadcast syndication' sort of an oxymoron? Or by that do you mean the mainstream media?

george.w said...

Well that's a point, isn't it? Bombast sells, and Rush/BillO/Sean/Glenn/Savage/Etc. dish it out constantly.

By the way, Faux news IS main stream media. Their constant posturing as media rebels would be funny if it weren't so dangerous. And the other networks, while reporting on Bush (hard to do at all without reporting something negative) pretty much gave him a free pass.